Chooses Potential Wind Projects,
Begins Negotiations with Suppliers
Proposed sites include Wheatland, Jefferson, Madison, Park, Glacier, Deer Lodge and
Butte, Montana (July 12, 2001) The Montana Power Company has
narrowed the list of potential wind generation projects for inclusion in its default
supply portfolio and will begin negotiations with the finalists. All of the proposed
generation projects are located in Montana.
"We hope to have the details of our
wind generation component completed by the middle of August," said Bill Pascoe, MPC's
vice president of Energy Supply. "We will be signing longer term contracts for wind
generation probably in the 20-year range to achieve competitive prices for
While wind is a clean, renewable source of
energy, Pascoe said that its varying availability depending on weather conditions and its
capital-intensive construction requires purchasers to enter into long-term contracts to
achieve prices that are competitive to other sources of generation. The average price of
the short-listed projects is less than 3½ cents per kilowatt hour.
"Montana Power is committed to
developing a diverse portfolio of competitive electricity providers with different
resource bases to serve its default supply customers," said Pascoe. "There is
also a positive economic development aspect for the State of Montana."
The company is looking to purchase a total
of 150 megawatts (MW) of wind energy capacity for its default supply customers. Since wind
is typically available a third of the time, this equals approximately 50 average MW. The
company will consider increasing the amount of wind generation in its portfolio after
carefully reviewing economic and operating issues.
Montana Power assessed each of the projects
it received in its recent request for proposals (RFP) according to a set of established
criteria including viability, cost, environmental factors, integration with MPC's
transmission grid and the ability to be available July 1, 2002. Four developers proposing
a total of 21 wind generation sites were identified as "finalists."
Due the competitive nature of the (RFP)
process, some information about each of the projects must remain confidential, including
terms, pricing and conditions. However, a general description of the finalists is
- Navitas Energy of Minneapolis, Minnesota, has proposed two sites, one
in Deer Lodge County and the other in Jefferson County.
- Distributed Generation Systems of Evergreen,
Colorado, has proposed a total of five sites in Madison and Park Counties.
- Montana Wind Harness of Missoula has
proposed a total of 12 sites from Glacier County in the north to Beaverhead County in the